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Liat facing loss of EC$9 million

Rhythm City FM | October 20, 2016

Chairman of LIAT’s shareholder governments, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, is asking the shareholders governments of LIAT to pay an additional $5 million EC dollars.

The airline is faced with a projected  $9 million dollar loss for the next quarter.

Dr Gonsalves who was  speaking  following a meeting with the majority shareholder governments of LIAT at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre earlier today, said the money is to be divided among the governments of Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.

He says although Dominica is a shareholder they are still recovering from the effects of Erica so they are not being asked to make an input.

Dr Gonsalves added that the year to date performance as outlined by management, is that  as of August 2015 and there is therefore a five million dollar net profit, but he said it  is forecasted that  they will lose by the end of this year about 9.2 million dollars EC.

According to him, this is moving from numbers close to a 100 million to 57 million and even last year half had to do with losses incurred by  selling dash 8 and paying severance pay.

“There is a recovery plan which is being implemented within the  context of operating 548 flights a week, 78 daily flights to 16 destinations, plus  the two are really Caribbean helicopter services which we run to Anguilla and Nevis,” Dr Gonsalves continued.

He says it is important that while they acknowledge the strength of LIAT and its potential, that they also look at some of the limitations and challenges of the airline.

Pointing out some of the challenges,  he stated that there were too many cancellations caused by illness of flight staff and  flight crew members. he added that frontline staff while they work hard he said, must be better trained to deal with the many issues they face daily.

“Smaller numbers of aircraft serving the same number of markets, and we have some weak technology infrastructure  systems and some ground handling systems that are not optional,” are among other challenges faced.

He also hinted that the airline might have to cut some routes that are not performing and not profitable since they must take some decisions to deal with a number of  operational challenges.

Just like a top ten list, he referred to some routes as making sterling contributions, while  some routes have a negative contribution margin.

“The main aim he says  is to stabilise the  schedule by resolving operational challenges and to  take action to reduce crew  sickness. The critical review of schedule  also has to be fine  tuned, but  LIAT  needs to do fewer routes but do what we are  doing much better.”

That he says  will mean eliminating some routes and cooperating with using third party  carriers on those routes .

“LIAT  has to continue removing non-performing routes as appropriate based on commercial assessment,” he added

Written by Rhythm City FM

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